The “Creative Cans In the Sand” program has been enthusiastically endorsed and embraced by many volunteers, local artists, businesses and local government. The media has also shown an interest as Local 6′s Tee Taylor interviews co-founder Nikki Freeman about Creative Cans In the Sand. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)
As oceanfront residents and frequent beachgoers themselves, Bobby and Nikki knew firsthand the importance of keeping the beaches litter-free, and had often seen trash scattered around almost empty trash cans.
Then one day after a stroll down the beach, and a discussion about their love of art, they had the epiphany.
“The thought popped in our heads that we needed to get people to actually put their trash IN the cans – and also raise the awareness of how important our beaches are to tourism and real estate values,” said Nikki.
“Being art lovers, and artist ourselves, we decided that a great way to bring positive attention to beach cleanliness, and garner media attention for Space Coast beaches, was to challenge our very talented area artists to paint the cans with beautiful and compelling designs,” said Bobby.
The Freemans knew their idea had legs when when Nikki posted a picture of a painted trash can she found online to Wake Up Cocoa Beach, a Facebook private group.
“Within minutes it was shared and liked by so many asking us to do something like this in Cocoa Beach,” said Nikki. “We then knew we found a creative and unique way to accomplish our mission,” said Bobby.
Creative Cans In The Sand has also been endorsed by politicians and a famous artist.
“Creative Cans in the Sand is such an excellent idea,” said Florida House Representative Tom Goodson. “I certainly support any program that is encouraging beach goers to keep the beaches and waterway clean.”
The initiative got a big boost when world famous marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey shared the idea with his Facebook followers, and his post was shared more than 2,300 times and liked more than 11,000 times – and growing. Among the comments are “Best post ever” and “Great thing you did there! Every beach needs prominent trash cans.”
As a result of their epiphany, and with the enthusiastic support and encouragement for the program by many volunteers, local artists and businesses, the City of Cocoa Beach has approved city-owned cans located in the parks, beaches and boat ramps to be painted.
The couple formed their not for profit organization with a mission to encourage beachgoers to dispose of their trash responsibility, raise the visibility of the Space Coast as having one of the best beaches in the world, and also donate any proceeds to benefit Brevard area children’s health and wellbeing.
“The City looks forward to this partnership and continued efforts to educate the public about keeping our beaches clean,” said Ben Malik, Cocoa Beach City Commissioner.
“This will be a great project for the entire community and also giving a venue to our local artists to display their talents and also allowing local businesses to sponsor these efforts.”
Freeman’s Creative Cans In The Sand project has received great support and encouragement from Ron Jon Surf Shop, The Endless Summer Foundation, A1A Sign Wave, Sherwin-Williams, Savings Safari, Space Coast Daily and many other local businesses.
“The media coverage we have gotten has been awesome,” said Bobby.
As Realtors, the Freeemans know firsthand the economic impact that tourism has on the Brevard economy, and our beaches are the point of the spear.
“The City of Cocoa Beach is thrilled and excited to partner with Creative Cans in the Sand,” said Melissa Byron, Director of Marketing & Economic Development for City of Cocoa Beach.
“This volunteer organization will bring awareness to preserving our wonderful asset, the beach, by encouraging visitors and residents alike to pick up and deposit their trash in fun and creative trash cans.”
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily is live at A1A Sign Wave in Cocoa Beach with Bobby Freeman to discuss Creative Cans In The Sand. The mission is to encourage beach-goers to dispose of their trash responsibility, which will result in cleaner, more litter-free beaches along the Space Coast.
For more information, or to volunteer or sponsor the Creative Cans In The Sand program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321-639-1694. You can also log on to the Creative Cans In The Sand Facebook page atFacebook.com/creativecansinthesand